A Lebanese Abroad

Opinions from an opinionated Lebanese abroad about Lebanon's politics, business and the future of a United Lebanon.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

3 Significant Events, 3 Bravos for Seniora

Amidst the usually negative, absurd and typically depressing Lebanese political circus, 3 recent events took place which show some progress towards the future.

1- The cancellation of a 1993 law that imposed limits on political parties
2- Lebanon’s declining to attend the Syria-Iran “summit” (Lebanon would have been there in spades if Syria was still in control)
3- The formation of a new electoral law committee headed by the very respectable Fouad Boutros (putting this fragile law in the hands of (more honest) legislators and not politicians is a good thing)

These 3 events were seemingly minor in headline grabbing, but much more significant in setting precedents in confirming that Lebanon is taking control of its destiny, finally.

I do give full credit to Seniora’s government for pushing them forward. I am beginning to sense that Seniora is the anti-hype person, i.e. someone who under-promises and over-delivers. I think he knows that his Ministers aren’t all “A-rated", but he will get things done, despite of that. I am not putting words in his mouth, but my interpretation of his style would be close to the military cliché: “The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a while longer”.

These are the 3 significant events that point that Lebanon is headed in the right direction, slowly (but I wouldn’t say surely, yet).

While there is much work ahead, we must celebrate the small stuff as well!


Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

These are meaningful signs I give you that.

But I was disappointed by the Habtoor issue which seems to be politically motivated.

So everything is not perfect. There's room for improvement.

11:04 AM  
Blogger khaled said...

I allow myself to add the following two positive comments too:

4 - One more positive degree issued by the cabinet.

The cabinet has agreed to include the Iranian company Ta3merat to the list of the companies who are allowed to bid for the maintenace of the electricity plants.

you might ask what is positive about this.

Well back in the previous tenders for the maintenace of these palnts, this company presented the lowest bid among all of the companies, the bid was almost 50% of the current company maintaining the palnts.

Due to poilitics or hosas then, this company was denied from winning this bid based on a technicality created by EDL. as well all other companies (excluding the present one) were someway or another prevented from winnig. and the current company kept maintaing the plants by (altradi).. we all remember how much Martyr Hariri suffered from this issue while he was PM and how he couldnt do anything about it...

Now this clearly shows that the cabinet is on the right track, the track of clean and clear tendering processess

5 - Another point for sanyora to be added is:
Another Brave step by the Cabinet:
The Cabinet has approved Martyr's Hariri original plan (Purchasing Gaz Oil - Mazout) from country to Country; where the cabinet has accepted the deal with Kuwait.

This will benifit the Power plants in Badawi and Zahrani

The deals states that Lebanon will buy High Quality Gaz Oil from Kuwait at preferred rates, and they will be transported to Lebanon via Large Kuwaiti Tankers. The deal further more nomionates an international company for Quality Control.

The deal will save Lebanon in the GAz-Oil (Mazout) 45 to 55 Million US Dollars per year.

The next step will be the Fuel Oil agreement with Kuwait, and also now there are talks with Qatar to buy natrual GAZ directly from them.

ya3ne Now even if Syria doesnt want to give us natural GAZ through the new pipeline installed through Syria, we will be getting it from Qatar at again preferred rates......

12:30 PM  
Anonymous barney said...


Ten days ago, I took a nostalgia trip back to the PULSE OF FREEDOM blog, which was "published by the protesters at Martyrs' Square, Beirut", but is now mainly inactive. The last comment to the first post on that blog. posted 11 days ago, was from 'Karen', who had lost hope that significant changes would follow their demonstrations in Martyr's Square. I read her post several times, and tried to write a reply indicating that changes took time, and significant changes took a lot more time; I told her why I was generally pleased with most of the events since the death of Hariri, and optimistic about the future - much in the same vein as your OP above. I believe what I tried to tell her is still valid and I am taking the liberty of reposting it, rather than linking it*, here:

I still believe in the Cedar Revolution, and hope I can convince you to still believe! First, I want to thank you for your participation in the mass gatherings at Martyr’s Square, for yelling ‘Kefaya‘ and ‘Syria OUT!!”. Due to your fervor, the Occupier in now mostly out. I do believe that Lebanon's politics are being turned upside-down, and that Lebanon will achieve freedom and peace. But Lebanon was in a terrible fix, a fix that can not be fixed quickly. It will take time to make all the changes needed, but those changes are underway.
Let’s talk about how Lebanon WAS back then. Lebanon was occupied and the occupier’s military was everywhere to be seen. The occupier had corrupted the system by Constitutional changes and by altering how we vote so that they would always win… all very shady, but done to look legal. They economically raped Lebanon and stole Lebanon’s money. They had infiltrated our security systems with their own agents so that the systems no longer provided security for the nation except when it was in the Occupier’s best interest. They assassinated our native sons with seeming impunity. You remember — RAFIQ HARIRI … ELIAS MURR … SAMIR QASIR … GEORGE HAWI — and you remember how the nation wept!

But then you came along. You and thousands of others, and you said “Kefaya” and you shouted “SYRIA OUT!!”, and Syria was frightened by your courage … and they left!! I remember watching the trucks leave, on TV, just thrilled at what people power had done.

But they did not go completely. Some of their security and intelligence agents were still embedded in Lebanon’s security forces. Pro-occupier politicians occupied offices of Lebanon’s government. Bashir still cast his malevolent shadow across the country. Their presence had played havoc with the economy and they left Lebanon in a terrible economic condition.

Then came the elections. Do you remember the arguments about the election law? I believe they did it right. By keeping the old election law and by following it, a slate of legislators were elected - with no question of legality of the proceedings - in what most agree was a fair and honest election. The President was left in office, to preserve the absolute legal integrity of the process. The elected legislators, with a few hiccups along the way, organized the legislature and drew up a plan of action. Have you read it? It is beautiful, and if they can do one third of it this year, Lebanon will be well on her way to FREEDOM.

I know that when you went home, that day back in March - or was it April - glowing inside from the thrill what you and your compatriots had done by the demonstrations, you thought that Lebanon was free. You didn’t realize that there were many more miles to go on that road to total freedom - undoing the evil which had been done But there were, and I firmly believe those miles are now being marched by the Parliament.

Karen, it will take a couple of years to see, clearly, the progress which has been made. It is in the nature of things that you will not agree with all the changes - or lack of changes - that have been made, but on the average, you will be able to see FREEDOM down at the end of the road.

Please keep the faith, Karen. Lebanon needs for you and all the people who gathered in the Square to keep the faith. Lebanon WILL be free.


*The real reason I reposted it rather than linking to it is that I don't know how to make that linkage under the restriction that I can use only a few HTML tags. (smile)

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